tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN May 13, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EDT
attack on women's health like this in the last 40 years. >> also jennifer love hewitt's racy new role, a sultry suburban mom on her hit show "the client list." tonight she talks love, fame, her figure, and those scandalous billboards. plus, anyone for tennis? serena williams like you've never seen her before on the olympics, her emotions, men, and heartbreak. >> i think that's tough, to be in love and then it, you know, might not work out. that's life. >> and talking of heartbreak, an "only in america" special. serena and i hit the court with the wimbledon champ in for a bit of a nasty surprise. >> uh! >> this is "piers morgan tonight." everyone's still talking about the big story. president obama's change of heart on gay marriage. one whom who's got strong feelings on the subject is cynthia nixon. i sat down with her several days before president obama took his stand. we talked about that issue and so much more including her extraordinary career from "sex and the city" to her
tony-nominated role on broadway in "wit." cynthia nixson best known for her role as miranda hobbs on "sex and the city," but earlier this week she received a tony nomination for her role on broadway in "wit," and she joins me now. cynthia, welcome. congratulations. >> thank you so much. >> not like you haven't had a few awards. two emmys, two s.a.g.s, a grammy now, a tony maybe heading your way. >> i have one from before. so -- >> you do? >> yes, i have one from before. >> anything you haven't won? >> no oscar. no heisman. >> it's a great role that you play in "wit." >> yes. >> it's an incredibly powerful role. at one stage you're completely bald. you play a cancer victim who dies. you're naked on stage. it's very raw and visceral, isn't it? and the parallel with your life and your family, in fact. because your mother suffered from cancer three times. >> three times. >> but is still -- >> she's still with us. she's almost 82. >> amazing. you had this battle with cancer in 2006.
tell me, how much of your battle with it did you bring to the role? does it actually work like that? >> it can work like that. but i have to say that my -- you know, you call it a battle with cancer. to me that seems such a big word. i mean, i feel like i had a cancer diagnosis. i had a very small operation. i went through some radiation. and then i was on a particular pill for five years. to me it's not a battle. to me it was like a medical bump in the road that is not fun, you know, but you kind of grit your teeth and you get through it. so -- >> scary, though. >> it's scary. but having had my mother go through it, you know, at that point a couple of times previous, and i saw how well she dealt with it. no, to me i didn't -- other than my experience of being in the hospital, i didn't draw on anything. i really -- you know, i've had some friends who died of cancer, and i've had some friends who died of aids. and so i called on those things much more.
and also, strangely, childbirth. >> really? >> yeah. because there is a point later on in the play where my character, vivian, is in incredible, incredible pain, and my only experience with being in incredible pain was childbirth, yeah. >> "the new york times" described your performance as large and lucid and delicate. great phrase, i thought. >> yeah. >> you must be very proud of the plaudits you're getting and now the tony nomination and such. >> yeah. it's an amazing role. to be given. and it's such a big canvas as an actor to paint on is that -- yeah. i feel like we did a great job, we had a wonderful production. but if you really give yourself over to a part like, that it's hard not to shine. >> is it totally draining? i mean, when you're playing a role like that, it's so all-encompassing. when you get home at night, is it absolutely like -- >> well, usually, when you're on stage, you get home and you're very antsy or you're very amped up. i've got to say with this role not so much.
partly because you spend everything you have but then also in the last moments of the play as she's getting sicker and sicker and then she dies and then there's a part where she's on stage dead. so you do just kind of relax. and so by the end of the play you're just very calm. and also, you get through it. she has so much time on stage where she's hilariously funny, like bringing down the house kind of laughs. and so even though it takes an enormous amount of energy and focus, you get fed so much by that audience response it really -- it energizes you. >> now, talking of energizing things, you've been quite active on the political front. play a little clip from a promotional ad you've done for president obama. >> 2011. times were tough. recession, joblessness. so many of us struggling to make ends meet. but for women times were about to get a lot tougher. >> the time has come to deny any
and all federal funding to planned parenthood of america. >> i raise in support of the amendment to remove taxpayer dollars from planned parenthood. >> we remember who turned their backs on us and who voted to keep us healthy. november is just around the corner. soon it will be our turn to vote. >> i mean, the pretty clear message from that was look, if you're a woman and you're thinking you were to vote in november you should be voting for president obama, not the republicans. >> absolutely. certainly not mitt romney. certainly not mitt romney. >> do you think he's anti-women, mitt romney? >> that's a very strong thing to say. but i think he doesn't have a sense of women's health, and i think particularly women living in poverty about how difficult it is to have access to not just contraceptive health care but general health care. and i think that president obama said recently -- it was so -- he
said women aren't a special interest group. they're more than half of the population. and it's not like women are children. you know, women are half the population. and they know how to take care of themselves if they're only given access to health care. we shouldn't be making these decisions for them, but we should let women make their decisions for themselves. >> right. were you a bit staggered like many people by the way the republican race went and its rhetoric about women's issues? >> absolutely. i don't think we've seen an attack on women's health like this in the last 40 years. yeah. i mean, i think these people certainly are -- we know they're anti-abortion. but they're also anti-contraception. but i think this attack on planned parenthood, you know, about 3% of what planned parenthood does is abortions. 97% is women's health. like right now in texas. rick perry is trying to shut down and stop all federal funding to planned parenthood. well, 40% of the women living in poverty in texas are served by planned parenthood. that is their primary doctor.
so what you're saying, then, if you cut all this funding, half of the poor women living in texas have no medical care. >> being dispassionate, has barack obama done enough for women's health issues? i mean, it's obvious the republicans have taken a rather strange look at this. but has he done enough as president? >> you know, there are certain issues on which we can never do enough. >> you are engaged to be married. >> yes. now, you were with a man for a long time. >> for 15 years. we have two children together. yes. >> two children. and now you're going to be marrying a woman. >> yes. >> and that's created a lot of interest, as you'd expect. you said this, which i thought was fascinating. "the fight for gay marriage is often portrayed in political terms, democrat versus republican, liberal versus conservative, but for couples like us this is about something simpler and more personal. i want to be married to my girlfriend. i want us to have a ceremony. i want all our friends and family to come. i want our kids to be there. just like that historic night last month on a subway platform, i want it to be a moment i will always remember till death us do
part." i like that. >> thank you. >> it kind of took all the politics and the stigma away from the whole thing and said you know what? i just want to do what other people do. >> yeah. i mean, certainly it is a political issue. but when you break down why gay people want to get married to each other, they want to get married for the same reasons that anybody wants to get married. they want to celebrate their love. they want to make a lifelong commitment. they want to gather their friends and family around them and say this is the person i'm going to be with for the rest of my life. >> how have you found all the scrutiny on your life? because you've been i think quite brave in the stuff that you've said. >> it's not been so bad. >> you've copped a little bit of flak but a lot of praise, too. it's one of those things, isn't it, where you put your head over the parapet. did you expect what was coming your way? >> you know, when news of christine's and my relationship broke, there was this tremendous -- you know, we were on the cover of two new york daily newspapers. she had british -- her parents, who live on a little island off
of seattle, had british journalists in suvs on their lawn. i mean, it was a wild explosion. but there was not really too much to say so, it sort of came and went pretty quickly. the flame burned very high, and then it pretty much has been kind of a slow ember since then. >> when you look at the debate, i've had a lot of people here, we had kirk cameron famously came in here and said some pretty outrageous things, i felt, using christianity as an excuse. how do you wrestle with people who've got religious convictions about it? >> well, you know, i think that the thing is that gay people, that there are a lot of myths about gay people, that they're sick or they prey on children or they're harmful to children or they're causing the destruction of the -- of traditional straight marriage. and i think as people personally and on television and all these -- reading the newspaper come to see more and more gay families
and gay couples, i think that these myths are disappearing one by one, which is great. and now we have a whole generation of children, they say that there are 2 million children living in the united states who have been raised by gay couples. >> i had one of the leading exponents. zack walls came in. who's an extraordinary young man. and he had both his mums sitting in the audience, which i thought was great. and as he said, kim kardashian's marriage lasted however many hours it was, and he listed a whole lot of others in his book. i thought it was a smart point to make. >> yes. >> that actually it's respecting the sanctity of marriage is much more important, i think. are you as happy as you've ever been in your life? >> i am definitely as happy as i've ever been. happier i would say than i've ever been. >> you finally worked out what would make you happy? >> well, i wouldn't say that i was unhappy before. but i feel that i have found the absolute perfect person for me. we have a wonderful family. we have three kids. they're thriving.
i'm very happy with my career and my home. and so yeah. >> life is pretty good for you, isn't it? >> life is pretty good. >> i can't let you go without a quick mention of "sex and the city." let's take a little watch of you in action. this is great, this bit. >> a big apartment to buy for just you. >> i have a lot of shoes. >> maybe the boyfriend will move in? >> no. no boyfriend. just me. >> i have a son who owns his own business. >> no, thanks. i'll take it. >> i love that character. >> yeah. she's great. >> have you seen "girls," this new -- >> i haven't. but i want to very much. it sounds amazing. >> everyone says it's the new "sex and the city." i've read that a few times. >> yes. >> but it's getting a bit of traction. >> it sounds amazing. >> what do you think "sex and the city" gave american women? what would you like its legacy
to be to american women, do you think? >> i think that "sex and the city" showed that it was okay to be single. even if you were in your 30s. even if you were in your 40s. even if you were going to be single for the rest of your life, that that didn't mean you were sitting at home pining by the phone, hoping that somebody would call, that you could have a rich, full life. you could have a rich, full sex life. you could have fun and adventures and work and great friends. and just because you didn't have a ring on your finger didn't mean that you weren't happy. >> and you are living proof that it could all come crashing to glorious utopia. >> yes. yes. >> star of broadway. blissfully happy in your life. the tony awards are on june the 10th, 2012. it's been a real pleasure. >> thank you. for me too. >> best of luck. i hope you win. >> thank you. >> good luck. >> thanks. >> coming up, my interview with the woman who's heating up "the client list," jennifer love hewitt. [ male announcer ] this is genco services --
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so six months? >> yeah. >> okay. so we can spend pretty much every minute together? >> right. see, exactly. >> and i can fall even more in love with you. >> you could. >> yeah, and then it will hurt that much more when you leave. >> jennifer love hewitt taking hollywood by storm in the '90s when she joined the beloved cast of "party of five." since then she's been consistently working in film and television. currently starring in what is i have to admit my guilty pleasure, lifetime's "the client list." jennifer, welcome. >> thank you. >> who would have thought that fresh-faced little girl would become my guilty pleasure in "the client list"?
>> i'm happy to be your guilty pleasure. >> this "client list" thing when i watched the movie which i didn't realize was entirely your creation. you came up with, it you produced the thing, you starred in it. >> it's been almost six years since i sort of started coming up with the idea, my manager and i, and it's been great to see tun fold. it's great. >> what was the concept? i know what the obviously idea in the movie was and now the series. but why did you want to do this? >> there were a lot of articles being written about, you know, single moms' sort of economic hardship and sort of how they were supporting their bodies and the idea that a lot of women were having to help their husbands make money for the family and everything, and so we just thought it would be a really interesting idea for sort of an ex-beauty queen in texas with these two kids to sort of find herself in this situation. and people have liked it so far. >> who likes it? is it watched more by men or women? >> it's pretty even, actually. i mean, we've been able to get a lot of guys to come and watch lifetime, which is nice.
i'm excited about that. but you know, women love it because it's very oddly empowering for them and there's lots of abs on the show. they're really enjoying that part of it. >> and it comes at a time when there's this book, "fifty shades of grey," which apparently every woman's reading this thing. >> yes. >> and you know about this phenomenon. >> i just got my copy pf i haven't read it yet. >> the premise seems to be that women get more turned on by the written word. >> yes. >> and men are more turned on by the visual. is that basically what this is all about? >> yes. i any so. i think we like to hear things. you know, even in conversations we like -- if we ask you how your day is, we want a long, hour-long example of how your day was. men are like how was your day? great. are you wearing a bra? fantastic. you know what i mean? that is how we work. so -- so i think the "fifty shades of grey" thing is, it's a real turn-on to have all those sexy words. >> you gave me a brilliant way in to the next part of this interview, which is your recent appearance on "jimmy kimmel,"
because to tee this up the promotional material for "client list," " to put it mildly, was a bit eye-popping. >> yes. >> so eye-popping that they had to remove the original posters because too many cars were crashing with men all over america driving straight into lampposts and they replaced it a slightly more measured poster. >> yes. >> but jimmy kimmel decided to save a particular piece of the original for you as a little treasure. let's watch this. >> i feel like i'm going to be a little sad now had they take them down. it's been nice to be -- >> we're all sad about it. they took the big one down across the street from us. >> i know. so soon. >> we're considering filing suit, actually. but we have a little surprise for you. >> what is it? >> we saw that they were taking it down, and we were able to -- guillermo, come on in here.
we were able to actually take one part of the -- we were able to get one square. [ cheers and applause ] so there is -- i don't know if you want to -- >> no. >> i don't know if you want this for your home. >> that was brilliant television. >> it was great. >> it also gave some idea of the sheer gigantic scale of that poster. >> i mean, massive. there was nothing more terrifying in my whole life than turning around and seeing them look like that. >> we have actually lined up the two posters here. so let's have a look at what all the fuss was about. because i couldn't really see what was wrong with the original one on the left. and the one on the right's a little bit -- well, don't take this the wrong way. but a little bit boring by comparison. >> i think so. i mean, living in l.a. fire really long time i thought the idea was always to have bigger boobs, not smaller. >> yes. >> it was quite shocking to me. i was like really -- and to not know who was messing around with them for me has been really the odd part. >> yes, who did that?
>> what person decided you know, what those need to be smaller so i'm just going to -- >> you're the first actress in hollywood to have a boob reduction. without any involvement. >> it's very strange. but i did keep the poster from jimmy. >> you did? >> yes. they're in my home. >> you have a big house. where have you put them? >> i haven't exactly where they're going to go yet. >> now, your middle name really is love. >> yes. >> apparently, your friends and family all call you love. >> they do. >> let's take a short break. when we come back, i want to talk to you about love. >> okay. >> because you've had a checkered relationship with love. >> yes. >> do you think true love is out there, jennifer? >> i think so. >> waiting to lure you in? >> at some point, hopefully. >> let's discuss after the break. >> okay. sweet! [ male announcer ] the solid thunk of the door on the jetta. thanks, mister! [ meow ] [ male announcer ] another example of volkswagen quality. that's the power of german engineering.
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list," a hit new show on lifetime. 10:00 on sundays. gets pretty racy there. >> it does, right? saucy. >> let's talk about you. because you came to hollywood three decades ago. >> yeah. wow. >> you don't actually look old enough to have been here three decades ago. >> thank you. >> you did. what is hollywood like? >> i mean, i think it's a great place. it's been great to me. i've been able to live my dreams and met really amazing people and have had -- i've had a pretty good time. i understand that other people have different, you know -- different realities here. but for me it's been pretty great. i've really enjoyed it. i feel really lucky to get to be here. >> have you ever been lured into the hollywood temptations that bring so many of your peer group crashing to the ground? >> no. i've worked a lot. so i'm always really sleepy. so i prefer to just go home and go to sleep. no, i've been really lucky. i mean, i've had a very close relationship with my mom, and my family has been very active in my life. and so i've never really had the time to go and sort of get in trouble, so to speak.
so it's been a pretty innocent time here for me. >> do you have sympathy for those that do? >> i do. >> you look at the lindsay lohans and all those guys -- >> i do. >> -- it seems to me there is a real pressure that goes with -- particularly for young actresses, i think. >> there is. >> the obsession -- you've had this. the obsession with the way you look and your weight going up and down. it isn't easy for a woman to be a famous person in hollywood. >> no. mentally it's challenging and it takes a lot of work day in and day out to sort of stay on the right course. and i do feel bad -- i was lucky enough to come here before there was sort of all of the guys jumping out of the bushes and, you know, taking pictures or luring you into nightclubs so that then they could take a picture of you falling down afterwards, that kind of thing. that was not my reality here initially. and i do feel a lot of sympathy for the young girls who don't know how to sort of stay out of that situation. >> what about this whole on-session with size zero and skinniness? >> it's hard. i've definitely gone to events and they've served me like chicken and i've gone to eat it and you can hear like other women at the table be like, is
she going to eat that chicken? i'm like, it's a piece of chicken. of course i'm going to eat it. i'm starving. you know, but it's a really weird thing. it's very -- >> you're in such terrible shape at the moment as we can tell. >> thanks. >> that you're appearing on the cover of "maxim" magazine. >> yes. >> and coincidentally, we have a picture. >> oh, great. >> you're looking really quite rough. >> i need to get to the gym. yeah. >> do you like doing stuff like that? >> it's fun. it is fun. you know, i like it because when i'm 80 i'm going to want proof that i had it one day. and i will have lots of proof. and so that i'm excited about. >> let's turn to your love life. >> okay. >> which i described as checkered. and in the break you said "checkered" is a wonderful way of putting it. >> i loved it. >> checkered i guess means that the path to true love is never easy. >> yes. >> you have found it tricky. >> i have. i have found it very tricky. >> why do you think that is? >> i don't know. i think some of it's been maybe me not in the right head space
in choosing, you know, not the right person. i think what i've definitely learned over the last few years is that we tend to choose to be with people based on how we feel about ourselves. and there have definitely been times that i think i have maybe not felt as great about myself as i should, and so i settled for something that wasn't what i needed it to be. i will say that even though it's been checkered i've dated great people that i have a lot of respect for. >> you have. i was reading your client list. >> yes, my client list. >> carson daly, john mayer. i mean, what a run. >> they've all been great people. and i've made great friends. and i feel really good about that. i would like to find real love. >> who is the mr. perfect? you must have worked out slowly but surely the kind of guy you're really looking for. what do you think that person is like? >> i don't know. i'm feeling a bit lost on it at the moment. >> are you? >> yeah. i'm kind of feeling like i have been looking for perfect and it doesn't exist and that's part of the problem. >> there are men watching this interview thinking, she's single? >> yeah. i am. i'm single and massaging men.
so i've got it pretty good at the moment. it's not too bad. >> in one of the many dreams that you have, we've already discussed this, do you dream of a wonderful white wedding and then having kids and everything else? is that part of -- >> i definitely dream of kids. definitely. the wedding part i don't know. i don't know that i ever have to be fully married. but i would love to spend my life with someone, and kids most definitely for sure. >> when i went to see you in the green room, you showed me a little -- i wasn't sure if it was a mating signal or something more sinister. it turned out to be something you do when there's like an awkward moment. we've had a few of those in the last ten minutes. >> sure. >> as i quiz you relentlessly about your love life. >> when you said it was checkered it was a little awkward. >> so when i do that show me the awkward turtle signal. >> so you do this. and there's no words necessary at that point. you just look at someone and be like -- >> can you see how that could also in the right place be misconstrued as a mating signal? >> sure. i feel like that would be more
like coming at you. >> jennifer, the answer will always be yes. >> thank you. >> i love "the client list." it's on as i said on sundays on lifetime at 10:00 p.m. you're actually out doing "mad men," i heard. >> yes. which is very exciting, right? >> actually, i was going to ask you. it's a sad day for entertainment today. the death of the beastie boy adam yauch. you knew him-i think. you appeared on "saturday night live" with him. >> i did. i got to host "snl," and he was -- they were the musical guest, the beastie boys. it was great. they were lovely. >> are you a fan of the band? >> i was, yeah. big-time. it was a big part of my growing up. so i find the news really sad. >> yeah. 47, i think, and he died of -- he had been ill for a while, he died of cancer. but it's a sad day, isn't it? >> it is sad. very solid. very talented. and very kind. they were really kind to me when i got to meet them. >> were they? >> yeah. >> kind beastie boys. >> yeah. >> that's a nice way to remember them. jennifer, it's been a real pleasure. nice to meet you. >> thanks. you too. >> next, a smashing goddess of tennis. my candid and surprising
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serena, welcome to my private little oasis. >> i didn't know you had this. it's lovely. and now that i know we're best friends, i'll be here all the time. >> later on we're going to have a little duel on this very court. >> yeah. >> i feel like i've come a little overdressed for the occasion. >> i think you have too. but it's okay. >> now, the reason i'm excited to talk to you right now is because wimbledon's coming up. >> yes. >> which is obviously my local tournament. as a london boy. and then we have the olympics, also in london. and you have never won the singles olympic gold medal. >> i have. nif never won the singles olympic gold medal. i have two gold medals in doubles, which is really cool. and so this time i'll have a chance to go for the singles, and we'll see what happens. hopefully, i won't like get nervous this time. >> if i said to you, serena, you can win your fifth wimbledon title -- >> that's not a fair question. >> -- or you can win your first olympic gold. which would you take? >> i can't have both? >> you can't have both.
i'm going to award you one now. >> i'm going to have to go with wimbledon. >> with wimbledon? >> but i'll take a gold in doubles. how about that? can i do that? >> you can do that. >> okay. >> you can do that. now, someone we both know, my manager, john, said to me he spoke to you once about tennis and he's never forgotten this. he said that you once said that an opponent may win a game against you, may win a set, may win a match, but they'll never beat you. i love that. tell me why you would say something like that. >> well, usually, when i play matches, the match is in my hands. and usually like if i make too many errors i'll beat myself or i will do that. i have lost a few matches, obviously, that the opponent just outplayed me and they just outright played unbelievable. but most of the time the racket's in my hands, which is a really good feeling, but at the same time it's like, you know, it's in your hands to win it or lose it, which can be a lot of pressure. >> you famously trained with
your father and your sister at compton, los angeles, far away from the glamour of manhattan. what i love about the way you trained with your dad is he to instill a ruthless winning streak with you girls he used to hammer tennis balls at you hard and fast. >> yeah. >> and you use osdsed to protect yourselves with your own rackets. tell me about that. >> that was interesting. i think my dad was a really innovative coach. even to the way we hit our strokes and stuff. it was definitely something new coming into the tennis scene. and what's interesting about that is it really developed my hands. like i see the ball so fast. like when i come to the net you can fire a ball at me, i can get it back. >> you were doing like two-hour training sessions at the age of 3, you girls. tying tiger woods used to dot same thing when he was young and his dad used to push him. the critics always say when parents do that, they push these kids too hard, they didn't have a childhood and so on. when you look at the incredible achievements that you and venus
have had, do you miss anything of that childhood that you had to sacrifice? >> you know, when you're younger and you see the playground there, you see other things, you see your friends or peers going different places and it's like, you know, you want to try that our want to do that and as a kid you don't know that the best thing four is that moment right now training and as you get older you'll i think think like thank goodness i was pushed to stay out there and i didn't quit and i didn't give up because it's so worth it, you know, when you're at the olympics or you're at wimbledon or you're at other tournaments. it's like all that hard work goes into play. >> when you and venus -- i know when you play each other in tournaments and one beats the other one it's always big hugs -- >> yeah. >> -- love you, sis, and all that. but when you're playing and no one's watching one on one for like a duel or something. you must be like other brothers and sisters, aren't you? >> we never play when no one's watching. i hate playing against her. like sometimes we practice against her and she's amazing to practice against but then i get
competitive a little bit. like the other day we were practicing together and i was serving against her and she was hitting winners and i was so mad. >> if you were both in peak fitness, at the peak of your powers, and you could play one set and the punishment for the loser was that you'd have all your limbs cut off -- >> you and these questions. oh, my goodness. >> terrible hypothetical. but i want you to watch the worstcase scenario. you have to win this set. who would win? >> first of all, i definitely think it would go to a tiebreak because we both have amazing serves, we both have really good returns. i can't say i would lose. >> who's more ruthless when it really comes to it? >> i'm really ruthless on the court but so is venus. i don't know. i can't sit here and say she would win. so i will say i would win. i'm sure if she was sitting here she'd say she would win. >> you realize you've sentenced your sister to having all her limbs cut off. >> if it were down to limbs they could take mine because she has more going for her. she has a great life. they could have my limbs.
so i would lose. >> last time i saw you play for real was at wimbledon. it was about three years ago, and you were playing i think a quarterfinal game against a tiny eastern european waif. it was the single most brutal thing i've ever seen on any sports arena ever. i think it was the number 1 court. >> now you're making me feel bad. >> you didn't feel bad at the time. but i was inwardly like -- i wanted to get on the court and rescue this poor girl. >> oh, no. >> it was a high form of brutality that was going on. >> yeah. >> you just obliterated her. but what i was struck by was that the longer it went on just the more ruthless you became. the more in the zone. the louder. the more physically empowering. it was the most impressive thing i've seen in sport for years. what do you feel when you're going through that kind of process? you're in the zone. and you're winning. what do you experience? >> well, when you're out there, you have to take the winning -- the winner's attitude. at least i do.
and i can't go out there thinking i'm feeling sorry because they're trying to win too. and this is my job. my job is to go out there and do the best that i can at that moment in time because you never know what happens tomorrow. for me in that moment, like it's important for me to continue to get better and not just stay at one level. and that's what i try to do. it's hard. like sometimes i know mentally i'll play for a little while and then i'll drop and then i'll go up and i'll drop. so i'm just always trying, and i'm always working on staying on one level field, which is -- which is really not easy, especially if you're playing at such a competitive high and a competitive level, it's really hard to stay in one place. >> who are your heros? or heroines. who are the people in any area of life historically or now that you really put on a platform? >> i never really got to see him fight, but i love muhammad ali. i always watched film of him. and how good his feet were and how amazing he was. i thought he was really cool. it's so funny. with the olympics coming up, my dad always had us watch olympics stories. and we were way too young. but in particular he had us watch i think it was the '84
olympics, but he had recorded it and i guess he saved it, and we used to always watch carl lewis, jackie joyner-kersee and greg louganis and he was able to do what he did in the diving arena. that's like a story i'll never forget. that was so inspiring for me as an athlete, to look up and be inspired by that. >> let's take a short break. i want to come back and talk to you about love. >> 40-love? >> no. >> 15? >> this kind of love, serena. brace yourself. [ male announcer ] research suggests
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back with my special guest, serena williams. serena, you are a very good tweeter on twitter. >> thank you very much. >> in fact, you have more followers than me. 2.4 million. which is very annoying, but you do. and you tweet the most fantastic features. because they sort of tell your life as it unravels. >> yes. >> this one, for example. these are your feet after you had this awful illness. and i saw you in the middle of all this. >> isn't that crazy? >> you had this blood clot which became very nasty. tell me about that. >> well, i had that horrible blood clot which was -- you saw me right before that happened, actually. >> i did. >> literally like a day. and that turned my whole world upside down. anyway, i have to tape my feet when i go out and play. and that's what i look like before every match. it's pretty intense. it takes like 20 minutes to do that. >> like an egyptian mummy. >> yes. everything is taped except for like a couple toes. it's totally insane.
>> this i love. this is how you have -- >> isn't that amazing? >> this is your private jet boudoir. >> upgrade, huh? >> that is unbelievable. >> i know. i love that picture. i kind of turned it into my room. usually i put my computer on the bed and all kinds of stuff. so it's very comfortable. >> it looks very comfortable. >> travel in comfort. >> now we come to my favorite pictures. because one is like a wet wednesday -- especially back in england it's raining, it's cloudy, i get on twitter and i hope i wonder if serena's been to the beach today. and if you have, then we get these popping up. >> raar. yeah. that one was fun. i was hanging out on the beach that day having fun and -- >> and you wanted to share that with the rest of us. >> yeah. everyone should feel like it's warm. it's not everyone can get to have fun in miami. >> this is one i particularly enjoyed as well, serena. if you're ever short of a partner in this particular game i'm available. >> so next time i'm burying someone in the sand you would like --
>> in that particular outfit i would like to declare my availability. >> i'll definitely keep that in mind. >> here's the strange thing about you. because i look at you, i see this beautiful woman. 30 years old. in her absolute prime. looking a million dollars. funny, smart, brilliantly talented. single. how? >> yeah. >> how can you be single? >> you know, i think it has a little bit to do with my career and, you know, just making some decisions that aren't right at the time and then, you know, just not -- yeah. >> you've recently tweet ed you're never going to go out with another man again. >> yeah. >> do you know how many hearts broke all over the world when they read that? >> i hope not. >> do you now withdraw that tweet. >> no, i'm not going to withdraw that tweet. >> you're not never going to go out with another man, are you? >> i'm not ready yet. i'm still getting over something and that takes time.
i can't see myself, ever like doing anything. i'm good. i'm good. i'm in a good space where i'm just trying to -- >> it's a terrible space. >> it's not a fun space, not fun at all but it's life. life. >> are you a romantic by nature. >> i am a hopeless romantic. too much of a romantic and i'm really passionate. when you see me on the court i'm intense and passionate and that carries on for everything i do. whether it's love or fashion or whatever. so i might be a little too intense. >> how many times would you say you've been properly in love in your life. >> probably just once. definitely just once. >> one time. and, you know, i think that's tough to be in love and then it might not work out and then -- it's life. there i go again -- life. >> you've been through heartbreak. >> it's bad, isn't it? >> yeah. i think everyone kind of goes
through that but it definitely is not a good feeling. i think having surgery a lot easier. having a pulmonary embollism is better than heart break. >> you can go through the heart break again or lose the final of the wimbledon's women's tournament this summer which one would you choose. >> i don't want you to put that on me. >> i'm just curious. >> i don't see an end to my career. i see myself continuing and building and i feel like my body is super healthy so i would have to say losing a final at wimbledon. >> as we head toward what's going to be an exciting summer for you there are two things that you've got which i normally shameless promotional things i don't like doing. these are great. this, i didn't even know existed. so you go like this and then it goes completely -- >> i loif that you love it. >> so the viewer point of view
what do they call it? >> our -- mission is one of the companies that i'm owner of. literally you can put this in boiling hot water and then when you activate you put it on your neck and it stays cool. i love that. >> you have the same problem at as me which is these things. >> this could be the secret to micronic insomnia. sometimes on planes, these are natural sleep sheets so it has medic -- it gives you lots of rest and literally it helps me relax before i go to sleep so i love it. it's great. >> i'm going to try these. >> i wouldn't try it now, if we're going to play. >> you fancy a game. >> you had nighting words on twitter and we haven't squashed our beef yet. >> i've wanted to squash my beef
with you for a long time. >> are you going to change or is this your fighting gear? >> i might throw on some nikes. >> game on. it's been a pleasure. coming up, only in america, i show sarena williams how to play tennis the old-school style. >> i've never played with a wood racket. [ thunk ] sweet! [ male announcer ] the solid thunk of the door on the jetta. thanks, mister! [ meow ] [ male announcer ] another example of volkswagen quality. that's the power of german engineering. right now lease the 2012 jetta for $159 a month. [ male announcer ] remember when you were a kid? you liked getting dirty and building things.
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i'm from britain and serena is, obviously, from america. this is a tennis version of the ryder cup. she thinks we're using these fancy new rackets that they always use these days which is cheating, really. give me that. >> oh can be come on. >> billie jean king was tweeting earlier. >> when billie jean king won wimbledon. wimbledon channels use real ratchets they use these little babies. so what's good enough for billie jean is good enough for you, vee from. >> good luck. >> i never played with a wood racket. no excuses. >> no excuses. balls please. we'll feel the power. >> oh, my gosh, you're good.
here we go. oh, my god. okay, here we go -- >> just to clarify, the four times winner of wimbledon doesn't want to play the old ratchets. now shall that she's got her tools back. >> my serve. >> oh, man! come on. >> that ball was good. >> it was out. definitely out. >> i'll be better this time, yeah?
>> come on. >> yes! >> that was nice, you did good. you beat me! >> i'm proud of you. i'm proud of you. it wasn't wimbledon. but - >> you're a good player. >> you -- thank you for a nice game. a drink? hello, i'm don lemon. thanks for joining us. story we're talking about and first, news you need to know. a group of civil rights leaders are commending president obama for what they call hills evolution on gay